Scottish election 2021: Alba’s manifesto for education

Alba is promising a ‘bonfire of paperwork so teachers can teach’ and a broadening of the curriculum

Tes Reporter

Scottish election 2021: Alba’s manifesto for education

Today the Alba Party launched its Scottish Parliament election manifesto with a promise to “shake things up”.

The five-minute launch speech from party leader Alex Salmond focused heavily on independence – but what does the manifesto have to say about education?

Scottish Parliament election 2021: The Alba Party's manifesto on education

It advocates:

  • A package of measures to help pupils and teachers recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, including extra support for learning and mental health support.
  • A “bonfire of paperwork so teachers can teach and not be worn down with bureaucracy”.
  • Reversing what it sees as a narrowing of subject choice in Scotland's schools, and “making sure Scottish education is again about breadth”.
  • Taking IT literacy much more seriously by implementing the findings of the Logan Review (it was published in 2020 and proposed “transformation” of school computing science and that the subject should receive “the same focus as mathematics or physics”)
  • Looking at the evidence for a later school starting age.
  • Returning to a system of detailed surveys of schools so that we are better able to understand what is, and is not, working
  • Ensuring that the pledges for devices for all pupils and school meals are delivered.
  • Undertaking a teachers’ pay and conditions review.
  • Safeguarding the role of fully qualified lecturing staff in colleges

Tes Scotland has also summarised the manifestos of other Scottish political parties published to date: the SNP; the Conservatives; the Lib Dems; and the Greens.

The Labour manifesto is due to be published tomorrow.

Alba’s highest return in opinion polls could give them six seats in Parliament after election day on 6 May, although other polls have suggested they would win no seats.

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